From February 25 to 27, all sailing yachts and sailing superyachts measuring 50 feet (15.24 meters) and larger can compete in a friendly regatta meant to showcase Caribbean hurricane recovery. Equally attractive, the inaugural Gustavia Yacht Club – Christophe Harbour Cup Race has no entry fees.
The Gustavia Yacht Club – Christophe Harbour Cup will be a 90-mile circuit between St. Kitts and St. Barths. (St. Kitts is home to Christophe Harbour, pictured above, while St. Barths is home to the Gustavia Yacht Club.) Similar to other global regattas, it will embrace the Corinthian spirit. The winner will receive a sterling silver cup and be able to keep it for a year, until the 2019 race. However, the winner will also receive a keepsake engraved cup.
The idea for a race is several years in the making. In fact, Buddy Darby, CEO of Christophe Harbour, says, “We have long been discussing with Gustavia Yacht Club the clear opportunity for hosting a joint race.” The storms that barreled through the Caribbean this past autumn gave the two even more motivation. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, commodore of the Gustavia Yacht Club, adds, “I am looking to create a new type of event in the Eastern Caribbean to strengthen ties between the islands at a difficult time as they recover from last season’s storms.”
Recover is a key word. Christophe Harbour reports that it’s seen significant visitor traffic just since December. Those visitors include Phoenix 2 and Mayan Queen, for example. In addition, the marina has been working with YachtAid Global, to bolster the humanitarian effort in the region. YachtAid Global has used the marina as a base to that effect this season, too. As for Gustavia Yacht Club, it says it’s raised €190,000 (about $232,600 at press time) for rebuilding efforts on St. Barths.